Prerna’s fight with malnourishment
Christina Khalkho lives in Ara village of Namkom block along with three children. Her husband works outside for a living. Two of their older children, aged 10 and 7 years, study in the nearby government school. The youngest child, Prerna Khalkho, is three years old and used to weigh 6.5 kg when we first met her. At birth she weighed 2.5 kg, just above the borderline of low birth weight, but in next three years added only 4 kg.
Rupa Khalkho, one of our field staff was informed about the girl and possibility of the being malnourished. At first sight Rupa had a very clear idea that Prerna was malnourished. One of the Village’s health nutrition and sanitation committee members, Madhuri Lakra, told Rupa that despite their efforts parents have not taken the girl to Malnutrition Treatment Centre (MTC). Rupa explained the mother about her condition and the kind of impact it is going to have on Prerna’s life in future. Christina was initially reluctant as she thought that they will have to incur a lot of expense in the treatment process. She was explained that they will not incur any cost of her treatment.
She was also informed that she will also be provided with the cost of commutation. Christina was still reluctant as she was alone at her home and no one else to take care of other children in her absence. Rupa then took the initiative of taking Prerna along with her to the MTC at Doranda in Ranchi. On 13 January Prerna was admitted to the MTC and was there for two weeks for treatment.
On 27th January Rupa was informed by the mother that her daughter is being released. Rupa personally went to bring her back to the village. Prerna’s weight had increased to 7.5 kg at the time of release from MTC and is continuously improving since then. Prerna’s parents cannot that Rupa enough for her initiative and efforts.
In Jharkhand, around half the children under age three are considered malnourished. It is consistent efforts of people like Rupa that we need to bring these children back to normalcy.
Girls of KGVK Gurukul School
Six girls of KGVK Gurukul School have brought laurels to their village and the State. They got the spotlight of media after securing third position in Gasteiz cup, an under 14 all women soccer tournament held in July in Victoria Gasteiz in Spain. They were placed third among 10 International teams. These girls are being trained along with many other girls by a local NGO.
They also participated in Donosti Cup (Spain’s biggest football tournament), the girls made it to the semi finals from among 36 International teams. After returning back home, they were felicitated by the Chief Minister Shri Hemant Soren for this achievement and were invited to by the President of All India Football federation (AIFF), Shri Praful Patel to be felicitated in New Delhi. They are being praised all along for their grit and determination for rising against official apathy and societal odds. Hailing from Below poverty line (BPL) families of Hutup and Karma Village they are the true ambassadors for Change in rural society.
They took admission in KGVK Gurukul, Rukka in the session 2010-11 in Class 3. Keeping In view their poor economic condition and the idea to encourage these girls who had started playing football at village level, the school provided 50% concession in their tuition fees since beginning.
Two of these girls, Manisha Kumari and Shivani Toppo went to Sri lanka to play under 13 girls West, South and Central Asia Football tournament in 2012 and contributed greatly in the victory of their team. The team won the tournament defeating Bhutan’s team in the final. KGVK Gurukul School felicitated these two players and awarded full free ship for their education.
Since their sterling achievement many of these girls have been featured in National television, like NDTV and many news papers. Kusum Kumari wrote her own speech in English and presented it in front of over 1200 people at the TEDx Gateway event in Mumbai in December of 2013. Since then, over 1400 people have watched her speech on YouTube. She was later chosen as one of DNA’s 2013 Heroes of the Year and spoke at the Aditya Birla Young Leaders Summit.
Neeta Kumari has also spoken at the Magic Bus/UNICEF Conference.
“Next Step -2014”.